When Walt Disney's daughters begged him to make a movie of their favorite book, P.L. Travers' Mary Poppins (1964), he made them a promise - one that he didn't realize would take 20 years to keep. In his quest to obtain the rights, Walt comes up against a curmudgeonly, uncompromising writer who has absolutely no intention of letting her beloved magical nanny get mauled by the Hollywood machine. But, as the books stop selling and money grows short, Travers reluctantly agrees to... (Full plot summary below)
When Walt Disney's daughters begged him to make a movie of their favorite book, P.L. Travers' Mary Poppins (1964), he made them a promise - one that he didn't realize would take 20 years to keep. In his quest to obtain the rights, Walt comes up against a curmudgeonly, uncompromising writer who has absolutely no intention of letting her beloved magical nanny get mauled by the Hollywood machine. But, as the books stop selling and money grows short, Travers reluctantly agrees to go to Los Angeles to hear Disney's plans for the adaptation. For those two short weeks in 1961, Walt Disney pulls out all the stops. Armed with imaginative storyboards and chirpy songs from the talented Sherman brothers, Walt launches an all-out onslaught on P.L. Travers, but the prickly author doesn't budge. He soon begins to watch helplessly as Travers becomes increasingly immovable and the rights begin to move further away from his grasp. It is only when he reaches into his own childhood that Walt discovers ...
Review & Comments
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McClatchy-Tribune News Service - 9/10 by Roger MooreIt was never going to be “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.” Reserve that honor for the film that inspired it. But Saving Mr. Banks is still one of the best pictures of the year.
ReelViews - 9/10 by James BerardinelliTaken on its own, Saving Mr. Banks is a pleasant, crowd-pleasing endeavor. For those with a soft spot for Mary Poppins, however, it's a treasure.
Washington Post - 8/10 by Ann HornadaySaving Mr. Banks doesn’t always straddle its stories and time periods with the utmost grace. But the film — which John Lee Hancock directed from a script by Kelly Marcel and Sue Smith — more than makes up for its occasionally unwieldy structure in telling a fascinating and ultimately deeply affecting story.
Tampa Bay Times - 8/10 by Steve PersallThe most satisfying portions of Saving Mr. Banks occur when the movie adds pinches of salt to the spoonfuls of sugar making this medicine go down.
The Playlist - 8/10 by Oliver LytteltonEven if it doesn't quite stick the landing, there's a lot to like here; it's a fundamentally decent, very well-acted and cannily written film.
Windy City Times - 8/10 by Richard KnightA familiar and very satisfying collision of art versus commerce or lowbrow, mainstream taste...versus highbrow sophistication.
Boston Globe - 8/10 by Ty BurrBecause it’s a Hollywood movie from a major corporation looking fondly at itself, it concludes that, while art may heal our psychic wounds, craftsmanship and commerce heal them better.
7M Pictures - 8/10 by Kevin CarrThere's great care to preserve the Disney brand with this film, which at times goes overboard with its reverence but never stoops to the point of being cheesy.
New Orleans Times-Picayune - 8/10 by Mike ScottSpeaking of good storytelling, Hancock knows a thing or two about that. Not only does the "Blind Side" director deftly navigate the double narrative of Saving Mr. Banks, but his film is also a visual treat.
RogerEbert.com - 8/10 by Susan WloszczynaAn intoxicating kiddie cocktail for young-at-heart adults, inspired by a Disney fairy tale based on fact: the making of "Mary Poppins."
New York Observer - 8/10 by Rex ReedThe screenplay, by Kelly Marcel and Sue Smith, seamlessly captures two different eras with overlapping story lines that never intrude or confuse.
Chicago Sun-Times - 8/10 by Richard RoeperThis is a lovingly rendered, sweet film.